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HadIt.com Anniversary 24 years on Jan 20, 2021
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Looking for some advice...


Question

Hello everybody, 

I wanted to post this under the RAMP program but seems to be disabled or discontinued area to post. Anways short background is I a filed claim for anxiety and PTSD in Sept. 2016 was denied, appealed to DRO Aug. 2017, accepted to be put into the RAMP program Aug. 2018 in Supplemental claim with the initial completion date to be June 8th 2019. Called PEGGY yesterday to find out if they have had any movement and was told by individual that he really doesn't see anybody in RAMP anymore. Asked if he could dig a little deeper and he stated he would send an inquiry to the RO dealing with my claim (assuming its still in Phoenix AZ). So I checked VA.gov today and now my estimated completion date was pushed out from a completion date of tomorrow to July 10th, 2020. I thought that RAMP was a pilot program that basically the VA was attempting to complete most claims submitted for the results and find out if this new appeals process would work? Maybe I'm wrong but it seems like I should have just stayed in the DRO and not taken the risk if they are going to take the same time to complete if I didn't opt into RAMP. 

I was initially denied for mental health disabilities due to my psychologist doing the C and P exam (in 2016) stating "I cannot answer whether the disabilities started in service without mere speculation." Then the VA asked her to give an answer along the lines of most likely or not, direct, less likely, etc. She wouldn't answer and I was denied benefits. I had an IMO which gave me a an "at least likely as not" for service connection and filed an appeal. Then during this RAMP in March 2019 VA sent me to another C and P exam offsite and was given the same "at least likely as not" for anxiety service connection. I was diagnosed with anxiety, insomnia, shortness of breath/panic attacks during service which seemed kind of straight forward when applying for anxiety but I guess not. 

I guess I am asking is there anybody else out there that has a RAMP with a completion date of July 2020 or later? Does the claim seem relevant, meaning diagnosed with anxiety in service and given diagnosis of anxiety from VA mental health/private provider within few months of recent C and P? Is RAMP a long term appeals process or should I be hounding my back burner DAV rep. who seems to be busy all the time? Also I have been in a preparation for decision phase since the last C and P exam which was March 2019, for all my other claims once it hit this stage it went a lot faster. Any advice would be great, thanx!

 

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Paul, you know its a real challenge when you have to type 5 number and several letters in the proper order.! Geeze, ya gotta give me i was close!

It seems the RAMP program has had positive and negative results, and the lack of consistency makes it hard to give a definitive answer.  On the one hand, many veterans have been able to resolve claims

yep it is. It gets harder (IMO) if the VA refuses to look at your entire service record and just flat out denies service connection. My decision letter on that amounts to "Yep you are deaf but we

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4 minutes ago, Buck52 said:

the RAMP/ AMA  Things have change

i agree with everything you said. That is why I asked TBird to create the AMA forum here. Just to start tracking those changes and how long things take to process.

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CUE is a legal standard to request the VA to reconsider their prior decision.  In other words, CUE is the basis for requesting the VA to go back and take another look at their previous decision.  In order for them to even look at the reconsideration request, the claimant mist show evidence of a glaring procedural or administrative error or mistake on the VA’s part that meets the legal definition of CUE. Then, assuming there is a CUE-level mistake, there needs to be sufficient evidence that were it not for the mistake, the claimant’s claim would have had a significantly different outcome.

CUE isn’t a subjective statement of what we think is an error.  

This is why CUE cases are difficult to prove and are rarely successful.  In practical terms, to save time in an already clogged and backlogged system, appealing (via NOD) is more often than not a better option.  Because if the CUE request fails (which it probably will) the claimant has to appeal anyway.

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rsm-esq Good Post, well said.

Here is in part of what asknod mention over at his blog site with the AMA. PROCESS. SOURCE" : Asknod.Org

'' VA Chutes and Ladders''

''Here’ the big story. The new AMA is nothing more than a cattle stockyard. VA drives the Vet into the preliminary chute with the first 526. S/he doesn’t have a clue whazzup. They usually are pro se or have a VSO who is equally clueless and paid to stay that way. The inevitable outcome is usually a loss or a minor win consisting of some old Mardi Gras beads ( Tinnitus and hearing loss for 0%).  However, the big ticket items like PTSD or lumbosacral strain remain denied. Now, with the new AMA, you have to find some new evidence or some new compelling medical theory which supports your first untrained argument. That first denial is effectively the end of the VA’s duty to assist. You are now on your own. A second denial after entering the next chute (the supplemental claims lane) will cause even more roadblocks. Pretty soon you’ve used up all your Buddy letters and the pseudo-nexus your VA doctor gave you that says it might/could’ve/ possibly/probably/ almost always is related to service.  Nobody will tell you of the need for a properly constructed, favorable medical opinion. So far, everyone’s told you you don’t need any fancy legal help. Those VA DBQs they hand out for your doctor to fill out don’t have a block to write in the nexus and describe why it’s probative. VA has their own DBQs for QTC, VES and LHI. Guess what? They’re waaaaay different and actually do have a block where the doctor/nurse/bedpan changer explains why you’re not going to be shopping for a new car this summer.''

''If you lose, most of these VSO pseudo-helpers will guide you into a Higher Level of Review and  another bitchslap. This is the old DRO review- as in- “What part of ‘No!” didn’t you get, sir?” An interesting facet of the AMA is it lets you continue to lose without any limits on the number and pathway of appeals. Thus you can go from the 526 initial rating, get a denial, file a NOD at the Board of Appeals and lose and still go back to the RO and the  supplemental lane and refile the same claim again with no loss of effective date. This is how the VA sold Congress on this rope-a-dope appeals thing. Since most Veterans will never get quality legal representation, VA can let them ping around inside this Hall of Mirrors cattle yard and never get anywhere with an original claim. The greater majority of Veterans give up once they see how it’s rigged against them. I did in 1994. It’s different when you’re dying. Hence, the Win or Die logo. was added to the VA claims game.''

''Veterans were confused enough after WW2 and Korea trying to understand why they were missing big chunks of arms and legs and only getting 10% for it. Or $20 a month for a lost eye. Vietnam Vets discovered much the same thing. VA wasn’t, and never will be,  a font of information about what you need to succeed. With the advent of the new AMA, the tunnel just got about 5 miles longer for most Vets.  If you had actually begun to understand the old system, you just got the ultimate whammy. You now have to go back to school to learn it all over.''

''I’m hearing from a lot of my fellow members of NOVA that VA is confusing Legacy appeals with the newer AMA stuff post -2/19 and illegally denying it or… worse yet, instructing us to file it on one of the newer forms for the  supplemental lane or HLR. The blind are now leading the deaf across town and vice versa. It will be some time before the dust settles on this. Meanwhile VSOs are still using the old 21-0958 NODs to file at the BVA instead of the new VAF 10182. It’s a zoo and VA loves to aid and abet the confusion.''

''Vets come to me and describe this as the ultimate conspiracy. Relax. It isn’t. It’s nothing more than gross ignorance and incompetence. I figure it’ll take several years before the  Legacy claims are all but extinct. When that finally occurs, the raters will finally learn the new method and we’ll start bugging Congress to fix the new AMA and make it more Veteran-friendly. Call it AMA 2.0 right now.''

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Update, 

This last Friday VA.gov and Ebenefits changed my disability claim from PTSD to Generalized Anxiety Disorder (Claimed as PTSD, and depression). I am not sure what this means as I have only seen this once a claim was completed. Will keep posting updates as they come through. 

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